However, the storyline struck me as completely unoriginal, and it felt like a retread of DANCES WITH WOLVES/ A MAN CALLED HORSE/ THE LAST SAMURAI. I also didn't care for the two-dimensional villains and Sam Worthington's bland performance in the lead- although Zoe Saldana was incredible as the love interest/heroine.
That said, I REALLY underestimated the film in my original review. Having seen it film again, I stand by my criticism of the storyline/villains, and Worthington, but I think the majesty of Pandora and the Navi' makes up for these shortcomings somewhat. One thing that helps is that this blu-ray offers a couple longer cuts of the film. One is the ďdirectorís cutĒ that hit theaters this summer and runs about eight minutes longer, while the second is sixteen minutes longer. James Cameron loves his directorís cut, and while neither significantly changes the film, like the DC of THE ABYSS did, the extended versions are still VERY worthwhile. The most intriguing addition is a new prologue set on Earth, where we get to see first-hand what a shithole itís turned into, making Scullyís love of Pandora all the more poignant.
Starting things off, we have three versions of the film on disc one, including the theatrical, directorís cut, and extended versions. Moving on to disc two, thereís an additional 45 minutes worth of deleted scenes plus the 15 extra minutes added to the film, so over an hour in total. All the footage is in HD, but the quality varies from perfect, to incomplete, to rough animatics.
Next up, Capturing Avatar , and ninety minute documentary by Laurent Bouzerault. DVD aficionados will immediately recognize that name, as heís one of the top DVD producers currently working. A Message From Pandora is a twenty minute piece on the environmental undertones in the film. Past that, we get another ninety minutes of Production Materials including screen tests, raw footage from the set, VFX tests, etc.
Onto Disc 3, where we get an hourís worth of Scene Deconstructions , which are interactive, and multi-angled. Up next are well over an hourís worth of Production Featurettes , The AVATAR archives featuring trailers, the screenplay, etc. The Art of AVATAR which contains hundreds of high-def artwork from the film. And, for those equipped with BD LIVE, thereís a lot more downloadable features, including more screentests, rehearsal footage, etc.
Overall a ridiculously stacked package.